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random quarter: the (sort of) thirty days in may edition... also known as how much can a girl possibly cram into a post?

May 26, 2013

one. the story of my life in twenty five words or less: small-town girl struggles with social awkwardness and medical issues. graduates from high school, then college despite some educators' beliefs that she couldn’t, and then she flounders.

two. i know a lot about depression.

three. attractive men, affable people, job interviews... these three things make me most uncomfortable.

four. the million-guys-are-after-you-and-they're-blinded-by-your-beauty kind of shit. real big stuff. you know, that just—even—we got the dick that kidnaps you and sticks you in a cave, and you're guarded by a five-headed dragon. you know? and the tales of your plight are spread throughout the land, and all the guys go and put on their shoes so they can see what's up, but none of them have the balls to save her (henry roth—dedication).

five. tina at life is good, thanks for being so supportive of me, more so than any other reader.

six. i sell children's furniture and write about these people.

seven. i'm most afraid of failure, success, intimacy and (sometimes) solitude.

eight. the best advice i have for others is here.

nine. one of the first transactions i concluded yesterday at work was the close of a sale begun by an associate. i rang the lady up. the lady is an employee of chicago bridge and iron in the woodlands. i felt compelled to inquire if they were hiring. they are. i asked about communications. and the lady oversees that area. she's the vice president of corporate planning. and the courage i'd found to ask about job opportunities evaporated. she fished in her wallet for her business card. i took it, put it in my back pocket. and ever since, i've been racking my brain for the right words to send her.

ten. most embarrassing moment... junior year. high school. the woodlands athletic center's natatorium. some saturday afternoon. after having practically drowned swimming a five hundred meter freestyle. that's twenty laps without stopping. it is THE WORST event in a meet. it SUCKS. especially if you're a sprinter. especially if you're a breaststroke swimmer. me? sprinter. breaststroker. the moment i got out of that pool, i stormed across the deck to where my coach sat. i screamed at him to  never, never make me swim that event again. my voice? i have the propensity to get really loud. and when you're in a natatorium, the sound just ricochets endlessly. i silenced the place. you ever tried to silence a room like that? it's pretty hard to do. but i did it, seemingly effortlessly. i remember having to swim that event. i remember being pissed off. and every stroke made me madder. i don't remember yelling at him. my mother was kind enough to remind me.

eleven. sell myself in ten words or less: effervescent, bright, inspiring, interesting, complicated, generous, genuine, talented, compassionate, tenacious.

twelve. there've been two days i've felt contentment in my life. i miss that feeling.

thirteen. this is my idea of a public apology. also, jenni? i'm sorry. i was late to the party, okay?


fourteen. this is my list of the ten things that make me happy.

fifteen. i can't support myself. never have been able to do this. the only thing that could get me to self-sufficiency is my ability to craft a well-phrased sentence. i'm really good at that.

sixteen. five of my favorite blogs and what i love about them: the bloggess because she cracks me up, the life of bon because her page is so diverse and she's so good about spotlighting other blogs, depressions and confessions because she's so smart and open, arkansassy because she's so sassy and c jane kendrick because she's awesome.

seventeen. i'm struggling with the thirty extra pounds that are situated on and around my ass and my apparent disinterest in losing them. i went to the gym yesterday. maybe i'll go again on tuesday.

eighteen. this is a list of links to my favorite posts.

nineteen. this is me ranting about something. this, too.

twenty. school didn't teach me to care about myself.

twenty-one. the worst thing i've ever heard: you'll never get married because you're too ugly and no one wants to wake up next to something that ugly every morning. i was about seventeen. it was said by a boy whom i'd known for seven years. we'd gone to all the same schools. we were on swim team and in art classes together. we lived down the street from each other. at seventeen, i knew he was wrong. at forty, i know he's right.


twenty-two. something i read online: the city of san antonio's flooded.

twenty-three. five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories: the blower's daughter and cannonball by damien rice, one line by p.j. harvey, the god of wine by third eye blind, this woman's work by kate bush.

twenty-four. my favorite manager was at borders. first at meyerland plaza in houston. i'd been on the shelving crew. i'd been making myself sick with the work. it was supposed to go from october to january. it stretched into march and the hours, once eleven p.m. to ten a.m. (which i liked), had changed to five a.m. to two p.m. (which i didn't like). i rarely slept. i spent two hours in my car commuting to and from work. and my immediate supervisor was an ass. one morning, the inventory supervisor's lead overheard him say something he shouldn't have. she reported it to her boss, who was acting as the interim general manager at the time, who left a note in my box for me to see her when she came in that morning. and the first words out of her mouth were i'm pulling you off shelving crew.

flash forward a year or so later. now, she's the general manager of the borders in stafford, texas. i am a bookseller whose primary responsibility is to shelve books. i'm very good at what i do. i'd come in from a smoke break. i was shelving in science fiction. she came over to me. come smoke with me. i told her i'd just come back from a break. she told me to come anyway. so we go outside, where she proceeds to tell me that she's got three lead clerk spots open: shelving, front of store and children's. we talked about them for a minute. and then she asked me which one i wanted.

twenty-five. a favorite photo of yourself and why:


me and one of my booksellers at borders in selma, texas. on the day of the store's first storytime. i was happy in that moment. and scrawny, still.

five reasons why peyton manning is more awesome than tom brady... or a sort of apology

May 23, 2013

photo snagged here.

one. manning was first overall draft pick. brady was chosen at the end of the sixth round.

two. he was selected four times as the national football league's most valuable player, a feat no other has accomplished. brady's only gotten it twice.

three. he played in the pro-bowl twelve times, four more than brady.

four. manning's the fastest to achieve four thousand completions. he has thrown the ball nearly eight thousand times with fifty-one hundred completions. brady's thrown the ball about six thousand times with thirty-eight hundred completions.

so, manning's thrown the ball practically twice as many times as brady's managed to get it in the hands of one of his receivers. and manning's completed almost as many passes as brady has attempted.

five. manning's the fastest to four hundred passing touchdowns, with four hundred thirty-six. brady's at three hundred thirty-four.

to me, he’s the greatest of all time. he’s a friend of mine, and someone that i always watch and admire, because he always wants to improve, he always wants to get better, and he doesn’t settle for anything less than the best. so, when you watch the best and you’re able to learn from the best, hopefully that helps me get better (tom brady on peyton manning as quoted in this article).

manning stats lifted from here and here. brady stats here and here.

this is why i have sooner friends... or good bull hunting, indeed

May 21, 2013




an aggie made that. but a sooner brought it to my attention. because apparently, i've been slacking when it comes to surfing the aggie web.

but i found this lovely site, good bull hunting.

it sucks that we didn't get to beat up on those stupid bulls this past year. but i'm so glad to see so many other teams had the chance. yall did such fine jobs, boys. thanks.

ten. things that make me happy

my friend, tina, over at life is good tagged me in a post. i'm supposed to talk about five things that make me happy. the things that make her happy are here.

it's tuesday, though, with a new round of topics at lauren's blog--life, love, lauren--and tiffany at the austin family diary. and they want to know about ten things.

one. the phone call from one of my former managers, the woman who gave me my job application and my informal interview--you know the one, the preliminary three-second one they do when you turn in your application to determine whether they should bother calling you in for the formal one. the manager that i liked the best. but she got moved to the houston store, a promotion of sorts. only she's not very happy there. and so she called our store tonight because she was bored and missed us. and it was so good to hear her voice. so good that she sounded pleased to talk to lil ole me.
two. love stories. at the moment, i'm obsessed with the tale of kensi and deeks from ncis: los angeles. no, it's not epic. nothing grand. but this video? i've watched it a shit ton of times since i found it six days ago. i bought the full episode off itunes. i've watched it quite a bit, too. i eagerly await the arrival of the dvd's for the second and third seasons of this show. i'd spent the better part of the past week trying to figure out how i was gonna find the money to buy the third season when i remembered that i had a forty-three dollar store credit to best buy. so i got to get them both! YEE!
this is gonna be hard to believe,
but i'm not exactly following the kensi logic train.
apparently it doesn't make stops in my neighborhood.
you smell like sunshine!
and gun powder.
two of my favorite things.
--deeks
three. coca-cola.
four. when my characters finally play well with me. that scene i posted the other day? i've tweaked it a bit since then, added some more dialogue, and oh, it's getting good, folks. makes me excited to write when i see things so clearly. makes tolerating this stupid depression a bit better, too, knowing that good things will come of it.

one of the bartenders who'd helped me make it a little better said that what she liked about reese and isabel's conversations is that they were like little land mines. it doesn't sound like a compliment, but i think it is. i like thinking that these two sort of tip-toe around each other, that their words have so much power, even when they seem so ordinary.
five. kindness.
six. laughter. especially that of a toddler's delight. if i'm at work and my day hasn't been pleasant but there's a small kid in the store squealing with joy, that always makes my heart smile.
seven. sunset on a clear day, on a good country road. preferably one i can have to myself for a while.
eight. aggie football.

nine. huntsville, utah. in two weeks, i will exchange the chaos of a metropolis for the quiet of that glorious, lush valley, a much cooler climate and the pleasure of my favorite great uncle's company.
ten. sleep. beneath a good duvet. preferably between flannel sheets, but it's a little hot for that right now.

Life. Love.Lauren

the testament

May 10, 2013

why i wanted to read it: one of my former coworkers at the bookstore recommended it.

what i liked: "let's not kid ourselves. mr. phelan knows exactly what he's doing. his mind is much quicker than ours."

oh, thank you. that means so much to me. you're a bunch of shrinks struggling to make a hundred thousand a year. i've made billions, yet you pat me on the head and tell me how smart i am (p. 18).

what sucked: the length. the absence of a strong plot. i've only ever read one other grisham novel, the rainmaker, back when i was in college. back when i was supposed to be reading things like billy budd and the grapes of wrath. i stayed up late one night, reading, stopping only because i couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. i took it to campus with me the next day, and in between classes, i sat in my car and read. finished it way inside of twenty-four hours. this one, though? i had no trouble putting it down. i did it a lot. and out of five hundred thirty-three pages, i enjoyed reading about a fifth of'm.

having said all that: the premise of the story is quite good. it's estate law, which wouldn't have the intrigue that his other stories possess, but the blurb on the back and the first few pages sounded interesting enough. it's got the usual grisham fare, but it lacks his flare. the last bit of the blurb? where a woman--pursued by enemies and friends alike--holds a stunning surprise of her own (back flap). there's only one person pursuing her and her surprise? not stunning. not even a surprise. actually, it's more of a letdown, to tell you the truth. the whole book is pretty much an utter disappointment. i'm surprised i actually finished the thing.

the power of love

May 2, 2013

so this morning, i got around to catching up on episodes of the voice. one of the contestants sang the power of love, a piece she credited to celine dion.



but that's not her song.

it belongs to jennifer rush.


three easy pieces

May 1, 2013

i'm not one for jewelry. really. can't stand the stuff. mostly because i hate putting it on. there are three pieces i wear on a daily basis: the aquamarine ring my younger brother gave me for my thirty-fifth birthday, the james avery ring i purchased in college station and a fossil watch. the watch gets replaced each year at least once because i am too rough with it. this one i got for christmas. about two months in, i'd already cracked the glass (see that little horizontal slice right around the three o'clock marker? yeah. that). and it's got gobs of scratches all around the dial.

that's it. somedays, i don't even wear these things. of course, i always feel weird when i leave the house without my rings--one for each hand. i kind of feel like by wearing them i'm taking my brothers with me.


The Austin Family Diary